9 out of 10 Americans say they’re exhausted by political polarization and looking for a way out. In response to the current culture of contempt, StoryCorps’ One Small Step is an effort to help mend the fraying fabric of our nation–one conversation at a time. 

Piloted by StoryCorps in 2018 and launched in 2021, One Small Step brings strangers together for a 50-minute conversation about their lives, not politics. Each conversation is moderated by a trained facilitator and with participant permission, interviews are archived at the Library of Congress. A very small number of interviews are edited into short audio and animated stories that showcase the impact of the program. One Small Step is based on contact theory, which states that a meaningful interaction between people with opposing views can help turn “thems” into “us-es”. By talking about who we are as people, rather than our differences, One Small Step reminds us to see beyond labels to our shared humanity. To date, 2,000 people in 40 states across the country have recorded a One Small Step interview. 

One Small Step Anchor Communities

Currently, Fresno is one of four Anchor Communities chosen to lead this work and show the rest of the country what it means to have the courage to listen. If you are interested in applying to be matched for a conversation, click the button below.